Sunday, 10 July 2016

30 chic days: day 26: vintage chic travelling


Image result for vintage french travelling drawingsTravel In Style

Continuing Look Like A Million with Leslie Field: vintage chic, circa 1978.  Leslie felt that travel luggage was definitely a cheap and cheerful area of expense. She felt that if you want to be chic with a label bag like Gucci or Louis Vuitton, you were better off getting a big shoulder strap bag or a tote bag that you would get use of, when still on the ground.

As a journalist, there was an early period where Leslie had spent as much time travelling as she did on dry land. She got herself a carpet bag satchel, and a plastic dress bag (do they still exist?), so that she could take them on the plane herself to save hours waiting around for her suitcase to appear at the other end of a flight. Whatever could fit in those two bags came with her. No snob, Leslie suggested brightly coloured, lightweight canvas cases from department stores, and if you have to travel light: get a duffel bag, with everything packed inside sailor fashion: rolled up & stuffed tightly. She also felt that it was easier to take two smaller bags than one big one, if you take a lot with you.

For weekends away, she had a small blue denim case which was fine half full, but also expanded amazingly when needed. She would take:

  • a skirt or jeans
  • about six different tops (which I'm assuming she included layers when needed, and she always took a heavy cardigan)
  • she liked to play tennis and her jeans and sneakers were fine for that
  • her dressing gown was also used as a pool cover up in summer
  • a pair of sandals (I've always taken jandals after reading this years ago) for around the pool and padding off to the bathroom
  • she often took gumboots too, lots of books and a toilet bag.

Organise For Travel

For overseas trips that were either one week or two weeks, she felt that the organisation was the same as for a weekend away. Leslie had quickly learnt that you didn't need to take a lot of clothes: 

  • a skirt and coat (or suit - it was 1978!)
  • lots of different shirts
  • two nice dresses for dinner out every night
  • on longer trips she took one more dressy outfit, just in case something big came up
  • her toilet bag had the same things, but in a larger quantity in it, as for weekends away
  • she didn't take much footwear either on these trips: boots (if needed); walking shoes, or sandals; flat heeled black silk pumps; & a small evening handbag
  • plus of course bathing suit & tees if the destination warranted it

Leslie didn't do special clothes for different countries: she dressed for either a hot country or a cold one. Everything that she packed was in perfect condition, mended, etc, everything was packed tightly, and her toilet bag and make up bag were kept with her at all times whilst travelling. She always popped on the socks that the airlines provide, rather than wear shoes/boots.

I've Often Travelled In Minimalist Style

I've travelled overseas a few times, plus had many weekends and a week here and there, away. I truly took Leslie's advice to heart. I once went to India with a child's backpack schoolbag that I could wear, a money bag tied under my clothes, a small cheap bag which I could carry with a sleeping bag inside. It was so easy to carry my gear. I watched people dragging big cases around and having to find porters as we travelled. My sleeping bag is a cheap one that has travelled overseas and around New Zealand, by two people, more times than I can remember. It is so old that we can't remember when we bought it. And my small, cheap, travel bag is equally old.

A Tale From India

I was shocked at the amount of clothes and "stuff" that people took, as those India journeys were about going to ashrams, where fancy clothes are definitely out of place. I knew that I could wash clothes and hang them out, so I had enough for 3 days, plus a couple of sleeping things. It was all so easy. My wee torch was from KMart rather than Kathmandu, my clock was a few rupees from an Indian market. At one railway station, the train doors were about a metre higher that the station, and there was quite an unexpected gap between the train and the station platform. We were ordered to throw our baggage onto the platform. I heard things break as my gear landed. I was so pleased that there was nothing expensive there! We then had to take a flying leap (for us shorties it was just that!) out of the train.

It's Easy To Travel Light To Bali

A month long trip to Bali was so easy: a few changes of very light clothes, swimsuit, jandals, toiletries, towels, small hair dryer (which I didn't need to use). Weekends & weeks away are equally stress less for me, I never take more than four changes of clothing, including what I'm travelling in.  But I always include something to keep me warm. These days, my fantastic Nikes come too, for walks and such. I've taken many weekend seminars, and attended a few others. There are never tons of bathrooms so I learnt, quickly, to only take essentials, and to be quick.

Another Tale From My India Travels

On ashram trips and seminars, I would always check out the showers, toilets, and any laundry facilities, asap. One trip in India, at an ashram, a friend discovered a "secret" unused toilet building. What a treat, no more queuing for the loo! We kept silent about it for a while. Then I told a lovely Slovakian lady, and said not to spread it around. The next time I went to use it, it was full of Slovakian women puffing frantically and silently on their ciggies. (no smoking for the punters in an ashram). I had to rejoin the queue for the other toilet.

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